Still in Zimbabwe, we have been copied on some very troubling correspondence regarding an elephant safari conducted this past season for subscriber John Erkmann by Jannie Meyer of Lowveld Safaris. The safari took place in a CAMPFIRE area near Gona Rezhou National Park this past August and resulted in an elephant being fired upon and hit on the 12th day of hunting. Though solidly hit, the elephant managed to flee into the national park, at which point Meyer ceased the pursuit, contacted the local warden, obtained the services of one of his scouts and resumed the chase. "We encountered the elephant only about 300 yards into the park, severely wounded and stationary," Erkmann writes. We approached to within 30 yards and killed it." At that point, Erkmann says the Parks Department (rather than the people within the local CAMPFIRE area) took the meat of the elephant, as well as the hide and tusks. Erkmann says he spent more than $50,000 on the safari, of which $8,500 was a trophy fee that went to CAMPFIRE. Now, he says the Parks Department wants him to buy the ivory at "...the commercial rate, which they have not yet established."
Here at The Hunting Report, we have contacted Zimbabwe authorities about this matter. Erkmann says the steps Meyer took before pursuing the elephant into the park have been considered sufficient in the past to legalize the killing of an elephant there. That being the case, why is he being singled out for additional payment? he asks. We hope to find out, and in........(continued)